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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I wish to take out an injunction to prevent the chairman of

Customer Question

I wish to take out an injunction to prevent the chairman of a residents' association using his influential position to oppose my planning application by spreading inaccurate information and innuendo.

Please advise which Court this would be heard in and how to submit such an application. If awarded, can I claim costs?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

What was said please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jo


 


Summarising;




  1. Last year we submitted a planning application for a new build dwelling on a private estate in Claygate whose roads and verges of the estate are owned by the Ruxley Heights Residents’ Association (Surrey) Limited. All residents are members of the RHRA and there is an elected board of directors.




  2. The RHRA impose a levy on property developers comprising; (a) a one-off fee of £28k to grant a licence to form a new cross-over point if a new entrance is created., plus (b) £10 per square metre of the gross external area of the property. This has no immediate relevance ~ I intend to fight this aspect in the future.




  3. The RHRA always oppose applications ~ last year the chairman of the RHRA submitted a lengthy document raising many objections, some based in fact but mostly scare-mongering. There was also an organised campaign where information packs were given out to residents spelling out how to object and what they should say.




  4. Last year the chairman refused to meet to discuss their objections.




  5. Our application was refused on three grounds ~ all other RHRA objections (30+) were refuted or ignored in the planning officer’s report. We embarked upon another pre-application process with Elmbridge Borough Council and found a mutually acceptable solution to all three concerns and were encouraged to submit another application.




  6. The Chairman of the RHRA has just emailed all the residents as follows:





Email from Chairman of the Ruxley Heights Residents’ Association



From: david albert <[email protected]>
Date: 5 April 2014 14:45
Subject: RHRA - Planning Application relating to Ruxley Mount, Mountview Road


Dear Fellow Resident,


Following a refusal of Planning Application No. 2013/2794 by Elmbridge B.C. a new Application has been submitted under reference 2014/0973.



This new application appears very similar to last year's application, but of particular concern is the fact that the proposed siting of the new house is even closer to Mountview Road than in the earlier application.



On the current Site and Location Plan the 30 feet line from the site boundary (which is where we contend the building line runs from) is no longer shown - the only 30 feet line shown is that from the edge of the carriageway, and even this is infringed to a greater degree than previously.



RHRA will therefore be objecting to this application in a similar manner to their earlier objection.



We have previously notified the developer that RHRA will not permit the new cross-overs proposed even if planning permission is obtained unless the 30 feet building line, calculated from the site boundary, is respected.



NOTE; The covenants signed upon the purchase of the house refer to the 30 feet as being measured from the road, NOT the boundary to the property so this is another lie



Representations must be lodged with Elmbridge Planning Department no later than 25th April.



Hope this helps


Kind regards


Richard

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.

I see the expert has opted out - what do you mean use his position? Is he not entitled as a citizen to have a say and object please?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Why has the original expert opted out?


 


Have you read all the details?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
I don't know but yes I have read them.

Does the chair have authority from the board?

Alex

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Historically, the Chairman has always opposed every planning application on behalf of the RHRA so it seems he has the authority to do so.


 


My point is that he is an influential "voice" in the community and there is much evidence to suggest that other residents have submitted objections in the past based solely upon what he has told them.


 


Hope that makes sense?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
If he has the authority of the RHRA on what basis do you want to seek an injunction?

Is it just on the basis you do not wish the RHRA to object?

Alex

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex


 


I have no problem with anyone objecting, including the RHRA. Obviously I would prefer no objections but I accept everyone has the right to object.


 


I want a court injunction to; (a) forbid the chairman of the RHRA using false information to incite the residents to write to the local council, and/or (b) to instruct the chairman to issue a statement retracting his email.


 


You could say that the planning officer would ignore inaccurate objections. However, the law states that if more than 10 objections are received the planning application has to go to committee and that becomes a lottery and adds further delay.


 


Hope that helps.


 


Richard

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Do you have evidence that he has been using false information please?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex


I have original and revised architect's plans that prove my point.


R

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Ok, what do the plans say?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

PLEASE SEE MY COMMENTS BELOW IN UPPER CASE WITHIN



THE BODY OF THE EMAIL SENT BY THE CHAIRMAN




This new application appears very similar to last year's application, but of particular concern is the fact that the proposed siting of the new house is even closer to Mountview Road than in the earlier application.


 


THE PLANS SHOW THE HOUSE TO BE FURTHER AWAY.


 


On the current Site and Location Plan the 30 feet line from the site boundary (which is where we contend the building line runs from) is no longer shown - the only 30 feet line shown is that from the edge of the carriageway, and even this is infringed to a greater degree than previously.


 


THE PLANS SHOW THIS 30 FEET LINE IS NOT INFRINGED TO A GREATER DEGREE


 


RHRA will therefore be objecting to this application in a similar manner to their earlier objection.


 


We have previously notified the developer that RHRA will not permit the new cross-overs proposed even if planning permission is obtained unless the 30 feet building line, calculated from the site boundary, is respected.


 


THE COVENANTS OF THE HOUSE STATE;



"NO BUILDING OR ERECTIONEXCEPT BOUNDARY FENCES OR WALLS SHALL AT ANY TIME BE ERECTED ON THE LAND HEREBY CONVEYED WITHIN 30 FEET (EXCLUSIVE OF BAY WINDOWS) FROM ANY EXISTING OR FUTURE ROADS THAT MAY BE ON RUXLEY LODGE ESTATE."


 


Incidentally, I've received an email from RHRA chairman this morning refusing to send our a retraction statement.


 


R

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
If the Chair has authority of the organisation then no, you can not get an injunction.

This is because he is conveying the will of the body and if he has authority to share the objection then there is nothing you can do.

If the body object, then that is their right. You can address any concerns to the planning officials. But you can't stop the Association from objecting.

Just because he says they appear the same, you can outline to Planning that is moved further away. The planners can come out and have a look if they wish.

But you cant stop him objecting - there is just no case in law to stop him - that is their right

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Alex

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm sorry, Alex, but you seem to have missed my point completely. I've already recognised anyone's right to object (including the chairman on behalf of the RHRA).


 


My point is completely different. The chairman is FACTUALLY INCORRECT in what he states as proven by the plans submitted.


 


THEREFORE HIS ACTION IS MALICIOUS AND POTENTIALLY VERY HARMING TO MY BUSINESS. AS CHAIRMAN OF THE RHRA HE HAS WRITTEN TO 102+ HOUSES ON THE ESTATE INCITING THEM TO OBJECT ON THE BASIS OF FALSE INFORMATION.


 


I WANT AN INJUCTION THAT AT LEAST FORCES HIM TO MAKE A RETRACTION.


 


ARE YOU SAYING THE LAW DOES NOT HAVE A WAY OF DEALING WITH THIS?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
You still can't stop him from objecting.

It may be untrue but it would be an injunction against the association themself,rather than the chair.

If you want an Injunction to make him retract this is a different matter from an objection. It would be libel or slander.

For this you need to issue proceedings in the high court which would be before a high court judge. But you could seek an order to retract but not for making general comments.

Does this help?

Alex

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK ~ thanks ~ I think we're getting there. Please advise what are the steps needed to seek an injunction in the High Court against the RHRA? Would it be for slander or libel?

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
You need to complete forms n1

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf

And n16a

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n016a-eng.pdf

Libel and slander are very similar, one is written one is said so it does not make any differnce to proceedings.

Alex

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

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